>> We'll agree the UK's withdrawal terms first and only then will talk turn to trade, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said Wednesday. Prime Minister Teresa May laying out other ideas in her letter a week ago to trigger the two year Brexit process, clearly calling for parallel talks.
>> This is a very risky approach. To succeed we need on the contrary to devote the first phase of negotiations exclusively to reaching an agreement on the principles of the exit.>> The EU Parliament in Strasbourg debating a resolution outlining its Brexit demands to be passed later Wednesday.
Barnier insisting a phased approach would build trust, not punish Britain. Unsurprisingly, the UK's Euro skeptic in chief, Nigel Faraj, didn't share that view. The UK Independence Party's leader in the Strasbourg Parliament calling the EU terms a ransom demand. Accusing negotiators of behaving like the Mafia, tweaking that to gangsters when rebuked.
>> You're behaving like the Mafia. You think we're a hostage. We're not, we're free to go, we're free to go.>> Barnier seemed also to warn Britain against playing divide and rule, saying a disunited bloc would fail to make a deal. That's a scenario few would welcome, though May has said no deal would be better than a bad deal.
The two sides baring their teeth before they get down to talks.